general election 2010

  • 25 Apr 2010

    The front pages of two of today's newspapers say a great deal about the skewed priorities that are continuing to shape the general election campaign.

  • 25 Apr 2010

    The BBC is not doing well on its reporting of religion this election. Firstly it wrote a highly speculative article about the role of religion in influencing the election - completely ignoring the substantial evidence on the subject.

    Now it is reporting the 'news': 'BNP banned from Lichfield Diocese church hustings'.

    The BBC headline is misleading for two reasons. As the BBC article itself makes it clear, the diocese has not in fact "banned" the BNP. Rather the diocese has just issued 'guidance' to its churches. It is up to individual churches to decide whether to act on the guidance.

    Secondly, the headline should really be 'Diocese follows Church of England guidance'. The C of E issued this guidance through the Archbishops’ Council Mission and Public Affairs Division on 1st February. This advised churches not to invite extremist candidates to their hustings.

    Gavin Drake, the diocesan communications officer quoted in the article, doesn't seem to have realised this, or, if he has, told this to the BBC. That or the message just didn't get through to the Beeb.

    Anyway, this is neither a 'ban'. Nor is it news.

  • 25 Apr 2010

    More discussion this morning from commentators trying to make sense of the ongoing disparity of poll results in today’s Sunday Papers:

    BPIX (Mail on Sunday) Con: 34, Lab 26, LD 30, Other 10

    YouGov (Sunday Times) Con: 35, Lab 27, LD 28, Other 10

    ICM (Sun Tel) Con: 35, Lab 26, LD 31, Other 8

    OnePoll (People) Con: 32, Lab 23, LD 32, Other 13

    IPSOS MORI (News of the World) Con 36, Lab 30, LD 23, Other 11

    ComRes (Indy on Sunday and Mirror) Con: 34, Lab 28, LD 29, Other 9

    To add to the complexity, YouGov polling in the Lab-Con marginals shows the Tories slipping to 34%. Labour is on 35% and the Lib Dems have jumped to 26%. This still represents a pro-Conservative swing, because of the drop in Labour support, but of only 4%, in line with the overall national swing. It would give the Tories 57 of these seats, not enough for a majority.

    On the eve of the election campaign (before the first TV debate and the Lib Dem surge) I suggested that this election would see quite an ongoing disparity in the polls caused by:

    - The Lib Dems doing much better as a result of the TV debates

    - The ongoing difficulties that pollsters have in dealing with Lib Dems

    - Misc. local factors that the polls wouldn’t pick up

    - Large number of retiring MPs

    - Reaction in some constituencies to certain MPs over expenses

    - Large numbers of ‘other’ candidates standing

    ...all of which are very hard to take account of using the usual polling methods.

    In the broader picture what now seems to be evident from the polls:

    1. The Tory vote share pretty consistent around 33-34%

    2. Lib Dems and Labour jostling for position around the 26-32% range, with Lib Dems apparently edging Labour into third

    3. The “Other” vote finally being squeezed as the Lib Dems pick up on the ‘anti-politics’ sentiment. Whereas ‘others’ were around 12-14% ten days ago, they are now hovering around the 9-11% mark.

  • 25 Apr 2010

    The Green Party have welcomed comments by Plaid Cymru and the Scottish National Party (SNP) over the importance of nuclear weapons as an election issue.

  • 24 Apr 2010

    The ComRes poll for tomorrow's Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror shows a tighter race between the big 3 parties, but has 'others' losing ground significantly:

    Con 34% (-1)
    Lib Dem 29% (+2)
    Lab 28% (+3)
    Other 9% (-4)

    (compared with most recent ComRes poll published 21 April)

    This leaves the Conservatives short by 55 of a majority on www.electoralcalculus.co.uk as follows:

    Con 271
    Lab 254
    LD 93

  • 24 Apr 2010

    The Cornish party Mebyon Kernow have launched their election manifesto, calling for a Cornish legislative assembly and the replacement of council tax with a progressive income tax.

  • 24 Apr 2010

    8.10am John Prescott on Radio 4 Today Programme

    9.30am Martin Bell talking about importance of independent candidates on BBC Breakfast News

    Gordon Brown expected to attend a public services rally in Northamptonshire.

    David Cameron heading to Essex to talk about electoral reform.

    Nick Clegg taking day off to spend some time with his three young sons who have been stuck with relatives in Spain because of the ash cloud.

    Comment

    David Cameron is today addressing issues of constitutional reform as more polls suggest that even though the Tories might get the biggest share of the vote, Labour might get the most seats under the First-Past-the-Post system. The Conservative Party have had a long-standing opposition to any form of proportional representation. In a hung parliament however, the Liberal Democrats may demand it as a condition of support for another party.

  • 23 Apr 2010

    The commitment of prospective Conservative MPs to tackling climate change is under question after only two candidates backed a green package.

  • 23 Apr 2010

    David Cameron claims that the apparently homophobic remarks of two of his front bench team do not represent the Conservative Party's real attitudes to same-sex relationships. But his comments about “families” in yesterday's Leaders' Debate illustrate an attitude to society that still upholds only one type of relationship as the ideal.

  • 23 Apr 2010

    Plaid Cymru and the SNP have said they offer the only “real alternative” on nuclear arms, pointing out that the Liberal Democrats would replace Trident with a different nuclear system.